[applause] tell our elected officials to imprison those who authorized torture and those who ran the big banks and investment companies that caused the economic collapse of 2008. tell the leaders of turkey to stop killing occurred. tell israeli prime minister netanyahu that the way to get security is for israel to stop the occupation of the west bank and help create a palestinian state . [applause] now, the next president of the united states that she ...
[applause] tell the next president of the united states that she can seek a constitutional amendment to make all national and state elections funded by congress and the state legislature and all other sources of money be banned including money from corporations, from individuals, all other money. make it all public funding. [applause] tell her that the way to achieve homeland security is not for us to try new ways of domination, the strategy of domination of the world to get security has
been tried to read we had a 10,000 years and it doesn't work. the way to get security is for the united states to become known as the most generous and caring country in the world, not the most powerful. [applause] we can start with a global and domestic marshall plan to once and for all and global and domestic poverty, homelessness, hunger, inadequate education, inadequate healthcare. [applause] so i want to as chair of the interstate network of spiritual progressives, by the way, spiritual progressives.org, come and join us. i want to affirm our commitment to the well-being of all muslims on this planet as well as the people of all faiths and secular humanists as well who wish to pay honor to muslims the world as they continue today to fast at
ramadan and join with them in mourning the loss in celebrating the life of muhammad ali. a great fighter for justice and peace. peace be upon him, pc upon the prophet mohammed. peace be upon all of humanity and peace on all of us, amen. [applause] [chanting] ali ali ali. >> after that speech, i've amended my initial remarks, honorable first man william j
clinton. >> in 2002, city hill was elected our principal spiritual leader of his people, a true friend of the earth and beloved for all who know him. he was a leader who is spirituality is coupled with the passionate pursuit of justice. we are honored that he is come here today to share a few words and a few thoughts with us, chief hill. [applause] >>.
the people of the longhouse. they wish you well. they want you to be at peace of mind. now, this great darkness that has happened to us, you must understand that he who had gathered us here, that his road is straight. peacefully, he will arrive at his land. it is the same as you call him, allah. these were the words. and to the family, the relatives and friends of muhammad ali, muhammad ali
was a leader among men and a champion of the people. [applause] he fought for the people of color and he was a man of peace and principle. a man of compassion. who used his great gifts for the common good. his spirit has a clear path to thecreator . for city hill, spiritual leader of the shoshone, six nation your quiet confederation and the darn a nation and myself, faith
keeper, turtle clan and of the consulate chiefs, have journeyed here today to add our voice to this congregation of world leaders in honor of his work and for the right and dignity of people of color and the common man. [applause] he was always in support of the indigenous peoples of this hemisphere and our request for our inherent land rights self-determination, identity and collective rights that includes the natural world. we know what he was up against area because we had
524 years of survival training ourselves. [applause] in 1978, a congressman from the state of washington put a bill into congress to terminate our treaties with the united states. an indian nations walked from california to washington dc in protest. mohammed ali marched into washington dc with us. [applause] he was a free, independent spirit.
he stood his ground with great courage and conviction. and he paid a price. and this country did too. and we all did. values and principles will determine one's destiny. and the principles of a nation will do the same. poor people do not have many options. and you fighters know what i am talking about. he said that the ring was ali's path to his destiny. he said he would be heavyweight champion of the world and he was. three times. this is the fourth time, right here, right now.
thank you. [applause] >> we introduce chief hill, he was joined, his words were translated by chief oral lion , foreign lions was born into a traditional indigenous family, grew up on the native reservations of upstate new york. in 1970, he became the chief and see keeper of the turtle clan of the ownerb&. it's his scholarship, stewardship and leadership is a source of benefit and a great blessing to all who know him. now would like to introduce rabbi joe brooks before.
senior rabbi of the temple here in louisville where he has been a leader in interfaith work. he has a passion for teaching youth and in fact it is his work with youth that led him to cross paths with muhammad ali. his religious leadership focuses on compassion, care and working together with all to build a better world. rabbi mccourt. [applause] >> this is a reading from our memorial prayers on yom kippur, our day of atonement . our most sacred day of the year. it was written decades ago by rabbi alvin fine, civil rights and humanitarian leader who could never have
known when he composed these words that he was writing a eulogy for mohammed ali. birth is a beginning. and death, a destination. and life is a journey. from childhood to maturity and youth to age. from innocence to awareness and ignorance to knowing. from foolishness to discretion and then, perhaps, to wisdom.from weakness to strength and strength to weakness and often back again. health to sickness and back to health again. from offense to forgiveness. from loneliness to love. from joy to gratitude. and pain to compassion. from grief to understanding, from fear to faith areas from defeat to defeat to defeat until looking backward or
ahead, we see that victory lies not some high place along the waybut in having made the journey , stage by stage. a sacred pilgrimage. birth is a beginning and death on destination. and life is a journey, a sacred pilgrimage to life everlasting. we say words of prayer and they remain the words until we encounter a person who embodies these words, makes them real. i've said these words many times before at funerals and memorial services but never have i felt them come to life and speak of a single, shining soul as i do today. muhammad ali was the heart of this city. the living, breathing and embodiment of the greatest that we can be. he was our hearts and hearts beats here still. [applause] let me tell you a
story you already know. it's one of those stories about ali being gracious to strangers that so many of us have told so many times and in so many ways that we sometimes forget the lessons that these stories were intended to teach us. it's a story on a tells about her father toward the end of their book, the soul of a butterfly. honest driving her father to a bookstore on on sunday to pick up some bibles and koran's for a project he is working on. they passed an elderly man standing by the road with a bible in one hand and his son in the air with the other. they offer him a ride. and he faxed them, saying he's on his way home from church. he only needs to go a few miles down the street where he can pick up a cab .
asks where he lives. he doesn't want to trouble them or go out of their way. he has no idea who is sitting in the front seat of his car. until muhammad ali turns around andsays, it's no trouble at all.we are just on our way to a bookstore to buy some bibles and koran's . once the man gets over meeting the greatest of all time, he insists that he has three bibles in his house and he be pleased to give them to ali in appreciation for the ride. ali thinks him but says, he wants to pay for the bibles. the man says no, the vitals were meant as a gift. ali asks him what he does for a living and it turns out that the man had a stroke and he has been forced into retirement . ali then tries to hand him a big pile of money for the bibles. but the man refuses and this is where things get interesting. ali says, take the money man,
i'm trying to get into heaven. and the man replies, so am i. ali is not taking no for an answer. he says, if you don't take the money i might not get in. and the man replies, if i do take your money i might not get in. if they arrive at his home and the man inviting him to meet his wifeof 30 years . he gives ali the bibles. ali slipped the money under a napkin on the kitchen table. they are about to leave and hannah gives the man her phone number and tells him to call him, to call her if he ever needs a ride home from church again. sitting in the car, ali turns to his daughter and asks, would you really go out of your way and pick him up and drive him all the way home? >> and she says yes.
and with tears in his eyes, he says, that's me in you. [applause] he says, you're on the road to heaven.therein lies ali's greatness. in his ability to see within himself something greater and his ability to inspire others to see suchgreatness reside within themselves . there will never be another greatest like muhammad ali. but we together can now embody a measure of his kindness and hiscompassion . we can say, each of us in our hearts, there's a little bit of ali in me. [applause] this week, we have
more the loss and celebrated the life of a louisville legend and a citizen of the world. and of all the words and in all the ways, the most powerful moments have always been made in the voices of young people, were repeated in prayer services and chanted in the street, i am ali. i am ali. i am not a fighter that ali was. and i may not have the courage which he never lacked . and i am definitely not as pretty. but in my heart, and in my hope, and in my prayers , i am muhammad ali. [applause] when we say that in our hearts, when we live that in our lives, then we
together can build a legacy worthy of the greatest of all time. so say that now with me. in your heart and in this room. i am ali. [applause] >> you know, one of the amazing things that we've witnessed during our time here in louisville has been just so many stories of common, ordinary people, just folks on the street working in the hotels, restaurants. virtually everyone has a story concerning how muhammad ali touched their lives. he attended my fourth grade class. he helped me out in this or that way. he came to visit me when i was sick.
on and on and on and collectively, those experiences, they become synergetic. they become greater then the individual parts and when we roll through the streets of city today, i noticed something i've never ever witnessed in my life . and i don't think i will ever witness again. i witnessed the power. in our muslim tradition we call it retired. it might be loosely translated as sainthood. i witnessed the power of sainthood. [applause] venerable sunni is a member of the og, a
japanese buddhist order dedicated to working for word piece through the practice of walking piece pilgrimages, anti-nuclear weapon pilgrimages and the construction of these pagodas all over the grove. he will be joined on stage my sister denise levin, another member of the order and together they will share a traditional chant with us. [applause] >>.
[applause] probably shares that she is inspired by her parents, their parents and those before them through the descending generations. the former prime minister of belize recognized her as a key ambassador on international cultural affairs and project development and in 2002, appointed her as ambassador at large. powerful and elegant, we invite ambassador shabazz to read and share and inspire us. [applause]
>> may peace be on all of us. as this is a homecoming celebration i might find a balance between that of celebration and depletion. loss. and somehow or another my capacity has been weakened this last week so i ask all of you gather here and a far too please muster up and transmit a bit of your energy. to me.in the memory of muhammad ali. thank you all.
and more as the globe centers at this moment among the holy month of ramadan where every two hours we pray in including muhammad ali and his family in their thoughts. amid that are the prayers of all faiths, all those touched , even those that don't clean a religion are feeling something right now in honor of the family and the memories of their father. their husband and in the spirit of my parents, malcolm x shabazz and doctor betty shabazz ... [applause] in the presence of my five younger sisters, our children and our
grandchildren, i would like to first honor his beloved wife, my sister mina ali. [applause] for all the strengths that you know and that resonate beyond, sometimes you do need a little help, no matter how magnificent you are. and indeed, those that were with him that love him and his family members have seen that. with nine children and i will name them, miriam rashid, julie locke, mohammed junior, mia, hana, laila and a sod, as well as their mother and the third generation of ali's grandchildren whoaccompany them . [applause] we know each other
,. through the extraordinary example of their friends. [applause] and to his sister-in-law, marilyn root , ... [applause] for all the grief that i am depleted by our replace my feeling of his transition, there is no on comparable inwards and i know that. from this day and those to come, as you redefine your waking days to a life without him present. photos, memories, all the
things that we have of him that keep him going has touched you differently and that has to be hours to recognize. never forsake it.[applause] just know that when you are the descendents of and in the presence of someone who's life is filled with principle but the seed is in you so you have to cultivate that responsibly as well. [applause] this moment is very meaningful for me. to have been amongst those chosen and blessed by muhammad ali himself and affirmed by his wife lonnie to take part by sharing a prose statement during this ongoing ceremony. while he and i had a treasured relationship, the genesis of this love was
learned from my father. muhammad ali was the last of a fraternity of amazing men bequeathed to me directly by my dad. somewhere between me turning 18, 19 or 20, it all seemed to find me somehow, guided by an old promised to my dad long after him leaving this for to search for me. and they did. each one remaining in my life until joining the rest of the heavens beloved summit of humanitarians. this included muhammad ali. my dad loved as a little brother 16 years his junior. and his and trusted friend, it was a double take when i came upon him a once
childhood her child and now looking right into his face, and you know how he is. he gives you that little glare like he got you. from the very moment we found one another, it was as if no time had passed at all despite all presumptionsof division . despite allthe efforts of separation . despite all the organized distancing. we don't write into all of the unrequited yet stated and duly knowledge faces we could explore and uncover tangibly. we cried out loud. his belt, his grief having not spoken to my dad before he left and it just as loudly we laugh about the best of stories, some that can't be repeated. he was really funny. what was significant as
brothers or my father and ali was their ability to discuss openly anything, all facets of life, namely the key meaning as men with great responsibility as bestowed to them. how to make an equitable difference in the lives of others. the unifying topic was they and ecumenical faith rated respect for faith or it all faiths, even if belonging to one specific religion or none, the root of such being the gift of faith itself so in his own words that he wrote, we all have the same god. we just serve him differently. rivers, lakes, ponds, streams , oceans, all have different names but they all contain water.
so do religions have different names and yes they all contain truth. truth expressed in different ways and forms and times . it doesn't matter whether you are a muslim or christian or a jew, when you believe in god you should believe all people are part of one family . [applause] so if you love god, you can't love only some of his children. [applause] 's words and certainly ideals shared by both men. love is a mighty thing. devotion is a mighty thing and truth always rains. having muhammad ali in my life somehow sustained my dads breath for me.
just a little while longer. 51 years longer until now. [applause] i am forever grateful that our union on this earth together allowed for me a continuum of shared understanding and confidentiality's and the comfort of living in his hometown of louisville kentucky for the past three years . [applause] that was not a plan. and mostly for the gift of knowing and loving his wife and children forever forward as my own family , know that. [applause] as the last of the fraternity reaches the
heavens, my heart is rendered ever longingly for that tried . that tribal purpose. that tribal significance, tribal confidence, tribal character . tribe of duties, tribe of faith. tribal service. we must make sure the principle of men and women like muhammad ali and others who dedicated their very being to assure that you get to recognize your own glory , is sustained and passed on like that olympic torch. my dad would often state when concluding or parting from one another, may we meet again in the light of understanding and i say to you with the light of that compass, by any means necessary. [applause] ladies and
gentlemen,representing the president of the united states and mrs. obama, miss valerie jarrett .[applause] >> good afternoon. on behalf of president obama and mrs. obama , i wish to express to you their deepest regrets that they couldn't be with us here today as we celebrate the extraordinary life of muhammad ali. i first met mohammed ali over
45 years ago through his friendship with my uncle jean and he, my local would be so touched that his son jean is a pallbearer here today, thank you lonnie. [applause] because of my family connection, the president and first lady asked me if i would read this tribute to you, and by president obama. it was 1980. an ethic career was in its twilight. everybody knew it. probably including the champ himself. ali went into one of hisfinal fights and underdog . all of the smart money was on the new champ, larry holmes. and in the end, the oddsmakers were right. a few hours later at 4 am,
after the loss, after the fans had gone home and the sportswriters were writing their final take, a sportswriter asked a restroom attendant if he bet on the fight. the man, black and getting on in years, said he put is his money on ali. the writer asked why. why, the man said? why? because he's muhammad ali. that's why. he said, mister, i'm 72 years old and i know the man for giving me my dignity. [applause] to lonnie and the
ali family, president clinton and an arena. distinguished guests, you are amazing. [applause] the man we celebrate today is not just a boxer or a poet or an agitator or a man of peace. he was not just a muslim or a black man or a louisville kid , though i know you wish that was it louisville, this wonderful city. he wasn't just the greatest of all time . he was muhammad ali. bob cole far greater than the sum of its parts. he was bigger, brighter and more original and influential than just about anyone of his era. [applause] you couldn't have made him up and yes, he was pretty too. he had fans in every city,
every village, every ghetto on the planet . he was fettered by foreign heads ofstate, the beatles, the british invasion took a detour to come to him . it seems sometimes that the champ was simply too big for america. but i actually think that the world a lot to him in wonder precisely because as he once put it, mohammed ali was america. [applause] brass, defiance, pioneering, joyful. never tired, always game to test beyond. he was our most basic freedoms, religion, speech , spirit. he embodied our ability to invent ourselves. his life spoke to our original sin of slavery and discrimination and the
journey he traveled help to shock our consciousness and lead us on a roundabout path toward salvation. and like america, he was always very much a work in progress. we do him a disservice to cause up his story, to thought only of flooding like butterflies and spinning like bees. ali was a radical, even is a radical of times.
>> >>. >> that draw try and san failures with the amendment in inner peace that we're all striving towards. in the '60s when others his age were leaving the country to avoid war or jail, he was asked why don't you join them? he got angry and said he would never leave his people in his words are here 1 million struggling for freedom and justice and equality and i can do a lot right here in america. [applause] he had everything stripped
from him his title, the many and family and very nearly his freedom but muhammad ali still showed america and i imagined he knew that only here in this country could he way of that. so he as a descendant of slaves could become king of the world. [applause] and in the process, when some dignity to all of us. students and elderly bathroom attendance and importers to help inspire a young next kid with a funny name to have the audacity to believe he could be anything even the president of the united states. [cheers and applause]
we take you for your dedication to help us build muhammad ali desire of the ceremonies of this past week reflect the traditions of his islamic space and as a family we thank the millions of people of social media inspired by the love of muhammad ali began reaching out with their prayers. coming in every language from every quarter of the globe. from where villars watching, and though we have been humbled by yourself expression of love. it is only fitting we gather in a city to which muhammad ali always returned after his great triumphs and it has grown as he has grown.
muhammad never stopped loving little and they loved muhammad. [cheers and applause] we cannot forget about the police officer who embraced a young 12 year old boy when his bicycle was stolen. [applause] he handed the young cassius clay the keys to a future in boxing that she could scarcely have imagined america must never forget that when the cop in the inner-city kid talk to each other and then miracles can happen. [applause]
dealing with parkinson's that dealt with his closest advisers he indicated when the end came he wanted us to use his life-and-death as a teaching moment for young people for his country and the world. in a sense he wanted us to remind people who were suffering, that he has seen the faith of -- base of the justice growing up during segregation ended his early life he was not free to be who he wanted to be, but he never became embittered enough to quit or engage in violence. [applause] if there was a time when a
young black boy his age could be hung from a tree mississippi 1955 when a killer went free there was a time when muhammad friends knew they get mired dr. king and nelson mandela for what they believed dead. -- believed in. [applause] and for his part muhammad faced federal prosecution and was stripped of his title and licensed to box and sentenced to prison but he would not be intimidated west to abandon his principles and values. [applause] muhammad once young people of every background to see his life as proof that adversity can make you stronger.
it cannot rob you of the power to retrieve and reach your dreams. we built the muhammad ali center and that is the essence of the message. [applause] muhammad one says to see the face of true islam as the face of love and his religion that caused him to turn away from war and violence but his religion he was prepared to sacrifice all that he had all that he was to protect his soul and follow the teachings of muhammad. [applause] so even in death he has something to say. he is saying that his faith requires that he take a more difficult road, it is far more difficult to be by
yourself in the name of peace and take up arms. [applause] all of his life muhammad was fascinated by travel. he was childlike with his encounter of new surroundings and people. he took his world championships bite to the end of the earth with the south pacific, europe, kong go. and it was to let everybody see him in person because after all he was the greatest of all time. [applause] the boy from grant avenue and kentucky had wisdom is discovered something new that the world really was not black and white at all. it was filled with many
shades of his colors and languages and religions. and if he moves with ease around the world to the rich and powerful were drawn to him but he was drawn to the poor and the forgotten. [applause] muhammad fellow of with them and they fell in love with him. with their diversity and faith muhammad saw the presence of god. he was captivated by the work of the dali lama and mother teresa and church workers to give their lives to help support. with his mother died, he arranged for things to be at her funeral and he wanted the same for himself. we are especially grateful to the presence of a diverse leaders here today and i would like them to stand once more to be recognized. [applause]
as i reflect on the life of my husband is easy to see his most obvious talents. the majesty as he would dance under the lights in the ring enshrined him as the champion of the ages. less obvious was his extraordinary sense, his knack to be the right place at the right time and to be ordained by a higher power. eve is surrounded by jim crow born into a family with two parents that nurtured and encouraged him. he was placed on the path by a white cop and teachers who understood his streams wanting him to succeed. the olympic gold medal and
we started to take notes. a group of successful businessmen saw his potential to help it build a runway to launch his career. his timing was impeccable as he would burst onto the national stage and was hungry for a start to change the face of sports. if muhammad did not like the rules he would rewrite them. his religion, his name, his beliefs, were kids. matter what the cost. the timing of his actions coincided with their broader shift of social attitudes across america. particularly on college campuses. when he challenged the u.s. government on the draft, his chance of success was slim to none. but the timing of the decision converge with the rising tide of discontent of the war.
public opinion shifted in his direction followed by a unanimous supreme court ruling that astonished the reversal. [applause] he was free to return to the ring. when he traveled to central africa to reclaim his title from george foreman none of the sports writers thought he could win and actually they fear for his life. but what the africans called the miracle, he became a champion once more. [applause] and as the years passed passed, muhammad was compelled by his fate to use his name and notoriety for the victims of poverty. he served as a un messenger peas traveling to places like afghanistan. he campaigned over third
world debt and stunned the world pretty secure the release of 50 hostages from iraq. [applause] and his message to on greater meaning he cable circle with the people of this country where he let a torch that saved to create new life for the 1996 olympics. [applause] muhammad always knew instinctively the road he needed to travel propelled his friends know what i read when i say he lived in a moment. he did not dwell in the past or harbor anxiety about the future. he loved to laugh and play practical jokes on just about everybody. he was sure footed in his self awareness, secure in his faith, and he did not
fear death. but his timing is poignant. his passing should not be overlooked. as we face the uncertainty in our world as to who we are as a people, but muhammad life provides guidance. muhammad was not one to give up on the power of understanding with the possibilities of love and the strength of diversity. he counted among his friends of all persuasions with the nobility that have added witness today. muhammad may have challenged his government but he never ran from its or america. [applause] he loved his country and he understood the hard
resources board of freedom. i think he saw a soul measured by whole of its people. for his part he saw the good in everyone and if you were one of the like -- the lucky ones you know, what i mean. he woke every morning thinking about his own salvation and would often say i just want to get to heaven i have to do a lot of good deeds to get there. think his hope is that his life provides some guidance on how we might achieve for all people that what we aspire for ourselves and our family. they accuse. [applause] [applause]
>> peace me with you. and on behalf of the muhammad ali family thank you to kentucky all the love you have shown us all of our lives has been unbelievable. my father was loved all over in their professional was overwhelming but beautiful we love you like you love us. thank you very much. [applause] as you know, my father loved poetry he was always writing with poems of the heart common spiritual and to promote and i wrote this piece in honor of him on
behalf of my sisters and brothers it is called thank you our dear father my heart to was sad when your spirits soared but my mind tells different tales of all you have taught me your family. most importantly the god that created humanity to strive with a quality. you fought for purpose to uphold the principles that we as a people have define human rights. staring right into the eyes of oppression and you proclaim your beautiful complexion, your god-given skills, your independent will and the freedom of your faith. as your daughter, i'm grateful for all of our
conversations about men and women and relationships guiding me to first avenue of the relationship of myself. refusing any one to expect the respect. [applause] thank you our dear father asking us to think about our purpose show ring is the duty of service to others. we marveled of the sincere love for people at does we treat that with dignity whether rich or poor your kindness is unconditional. never perceiving anyone has been a few. so many have shared personal stories about what you have met to them as to exemplify values and qualities that have enhanced their lives.
if i had a dollar for every story i could paper the sky. your family is so proud of the legacy you have left behind, but i hope that the history of you can help turn the tide of self-paced and violence because we're overwhelmed with moments. [applause] but here on the soil, america is so real, in a leased or anywhere else in this world we crave for peace. the piece that you rested now. we will forever cherished the city for years you graced the earth he will be greatly missed but now we send you off in celebration with a prayer. as you enter your final round, the gods last boxing
here today to celebrate our father. you were the greatest father to us and it was god's will to take you home. your family will try our best to make you proud to carry on your legacy of giving and love. you have inspired us and the world to be the best version of ourselves. may you live in paradise and free from suffering. you shut us up in life now you shake us up in that. [applause] he is looking at us now saying i told you i was the greatest. [laughter] no one compares it to you, daddy. we once said i know where i
>> hello. i was born on muhammad ali birthday and was named after him. he is to call the little greatest that i am 39 example of kindness and understanding. when muhammad was asked how he wanted to be remembered he said i would like for them to say a few cups of love with 1 tablespoon of patients, 1 teaspoon of generosity and kindness and one-quarter of laughter and one branch of concern and you mix with happiness. he had a lot to say. then he spread over a span of a lifetime to each and
every person that he met. [applause] >> before i begin i would like to say i am truly humbled and honored to be here and i would like to thank the muhammad ali center in family to give me the opportunity to speak and echo the voice muhammad has given me. let me tell you a story about a man hoodies to believe with limitation to
achieve the impossible to touch the heart of the eight year-old girl who could not see past the color of her skin. but just as the man did when he stood tall to shout i.m. the disturbances in the sea of your complacency and i will never stop shaking. [applause] >> the voice echoed it to her. she picked up the rocks that
were throwing arthur and that was a voice so powerful that eternal the pain that was turned into strength and tenacity. and now that eight year-old girl stands before you to tell you that he still shakes these waves today. [applause] and the strength of our identity whether we are black or white or asian or hispanic to be disabled or able-bodied jewish or hindu or christian, his cry represents those who have
not been heard and invalidates the idea we are to become forms of one standard. [applause] that is what it means to have the impossible because that is an impossible is nothing. [applause] but i'll look to the crowd i smile to recognize he is not really gone. he lives in you and it means and for every quarter of this world.
[applause] reality was never a limitation just as every punch his opponents through it is never enough to knock us down because we are ali. [applause] we are greater than the rocks that we throw at each other. we have the ability to empower and inspire and connect and unify and that will live on forever. so let me tell you a story about a man and his name is
of the muhammad ali family and our condolences and heartfelt prayer is send a special prayer artur lonnie. we know muhammad was blessed with many guests bed nine more precious than lonnie. thank you very much. i have to tell you when i was in the procession today in front of tens of thousands of people to feel the warmth and love and respect that was shown for muhammad, my heart swelled with pride i know he was watching from above and absolutely loved it. [applause] i'll take he will be surprised he went say louisville is the greatest city of all time. i will tell you how can we lose? [applause]
i am feeling so but i will come back and change my name that is how good i feel. [applause] but for me i always felt connected even before i met him. maybe it is i like the cardinals light muhammad. [applause] but as our relationship evolved i found a lot of people have a personal connection in for a lot of men my age it was the athlete i was attracted to that size and speed and agility you don't become heavyweight champion will of the world's three times the athlete of the century
search of a once-in-a-lifetime athlete to argue the combination of compassion and kindness and love and the ability to lift us up make some once-in-a-lifetime person. [applause] he was a wise and faithful steward of his guests that would encapsulate to me what he was about to i remember back in 2000 made a trip to the summer olympics with him one day he said we would see a boxing match and i remember ringside 15,000 people are chanting usa. i thought this is my olympic moment the boxer came down with the obligatory picture with muhammad and hundreds
of photographers from around the world taking pictures thousands of people cheering for muhammad then he whispers in my ear i want to see the loser excuse me? some emotion and to the officials he wants to see the desert we get to his locker room there is not thousands of people just a kid with a towel around his neck has a bloody mouth this has to be the lowest point of his athletic career at the very least he let down his country and is defeated and the pride in that ring was the lowest but the kid recognizes him instantly and
says muhammad ali he started dancing show me what you got and the kid starts to dock and smile he said i saw what you did out there you looked good don't give up. i remember it warmed my heart how he took this kid in an instant. [applause] i remember i got in the car i said i tried to be nice but i gotta up in the moment i did not give him a second thought he said tell me something i don't already know. [laughter] so i don't want people to forget he is the finest example of a human that i have never seen the finest
example of the kindest you can possessed but don't forget about this he was the coolest cats he had charm and charisma and swagger before he knew what that was i remember about 25 years ago he wanted to go to outback steakhouse it was a fireman's convention here in louisville sure enough i had seen the sign a million times of the lineup for autographs i say if you like i will play a the bad guy and he would have none of that city is taking bites of the food and siding and one guy wrote what steps he was scared to death he said i
saw this stands you made in the civil-rights movement and vietnam war you're my hero live picture of you you are my hero is still the muhammad wanted to change the channel he said you are there real hero saving lives putting your life on the line you are the real hero and the firemen responded so quickly he said you thought the bear you thought for men and patterson and smoking and joe frazier he interrupted and said the joke wasn't really spoken -- smoking. [laughter] he said that's a good line. he said that's right. righted down. [laughter] but it wasn't all about signing autographs and kissing babies if somebody needed food in a third-world
country he would be on the plane traveling with the check if there was a conflict he could be part of a resolution, and again he would travel. as lonnie mentioned for hostages to be released to was a man of action. what my favorite quotations that is in the program he said the price to brothers is the rent you pay here on earth i want to say your rent is paid in full. [applause] your rent is paid in full and in fact, i think he paid a forward to look for commonalities rather than differences therefore i
think he has paid it for word for all of us so as we all know now the fight is over by here to tell you the decision is in and it is unanimous because of them we always and. they accuse some much muhammad. [applause] thank you it is time for a man of peace to rest in peace thank you very much. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen,, billy crystal. [applause] >> thank you we're at the
halfway point. [laughter] with this outpouring of love and respect proves that 35 years after he stopped fighting he is still the champion of the world. [cheers and applause] last week when we heard the news, at times stopped there was no war, no terrorist or catastrophes the world stopped and took a deep breath and side. since then my mind has been racing about this amazing
and that 42 years i have known him every memory is cherished and others can tell you of his accomplishments he wanted me to tell you a personal moments we had together i met him 1974 as just getting started as a stand-up comedian and struggling but i had one routine that was a three minute conversation between howard cosell and muhammed of the wry wit imitate both of them. he has read defeated george foreman and sport magazine made him the man of the year a wonderful writer and a great man and he would host a televised dinner honoring muhammad ali so he called my agent looking for comedians for material and as fate would have said that comedienne was not available [laughter] it is destiny. [laughter] she said i have a young kid he does a great imitation
and that would be perfect i don't know why but he said okay i will try if he thinks i can cut him out of the show i could not believe that my first time on television and it would be with muhammad date of that was jammed later to become a part of my family he said house to introduce you nobody knows who you are and i said just say one of his closest and dearest friends. [laughter] and my thought was i will get right to the microphone and go into my howard cosell and will be fine but then i went into a jammed ballroom in bad is when i saw him for the first time in person it is very hard to describe how much he meant to me you have to live in his time it is great to look backflips and it is amazing we have them but to live in his time watching his fights to
experience the genius of his talent was extraordinary everyone of his fights with the aura of the super bowl he did things nobody would do if you would predict the round and then he would do it. [laughter] he was funny and beautiful animals perfect athlete you ever saw in those are his own words. [laughter] but he was so much more than a fighter with bobby kennedy gone, martin luther king, malcolm x relating to vietnam exploding inner face millions of young men my age eligible for the draft that we didn't believe in real huddled on the conveyor belt feeding the war machine but he stood up for us by standing up for himself. [applause] after he was stripped of the title and the right to fight anywhere in the world, he
gave speeches at colleges and on television comfortable talking to kings and queens of the loss of unrequited even after he lost everything else he was always himself willing to give up everything for which he believed in and about the life the plight of the black people resonated strongly in my house i grew up in a house dedicated to civil-rights. my eighth bader was a producer jazz concert is one of the first integrate the bands in the '40's and 50's jazz musicians refer to my dad as the branch rickey of jasmine and uncle and my family jewish produce strange fruit describing the lynching of african-americans in their country so i felt him and just a few feet from mackinaws stop looking at him it was like slow motion with his amazing face i was
seated a few seats from him in front of all of these athletes the baltimore colts the steelers a heisman from ohio state widgeons george plimpton of fighting over him who looks at me. [laughter] with an expression that seemed to say what is joel grey doing your? -- here. [laughter] teeeight introduced a one of his closest and dearest friends than to people clapped. [laughter] my life and that agent. [laughter] he is still staring at me i pass right behind him and get to the podium and walk right into the howard cosell. coming to life from inside your -- it got bigger
laughs. and then i went into the of ali talk about george foreman. or george foreman i'm still fasted 33 years of age i can be in bed before the our rimm gets dark. [applause] howard i am announcing i have a religious beliefs now i want to be known i unorthodox to i am the greatest of all time. [laughter] [applause] the audience exploded nobody had ever done him before now wears a white kid from long island imitating the greatest of all time and he was loving it when i was done he gave me a big bear hug and whispered you are my
little brother. [laughter] which is what he always called me and tell the last time that i saw him we were always there for each other if he needed me i was there he came to anything i asked him to do most memorable he was an honorary chairman for a dinner at a very important event for i was honored by the hebrew university in jerusalem he did all of this promotion for it and came to the dinner and sat with my family the entire evening and took photographs with everybody the most famous muslim man in the world honoring his jewish friend. [applause] and because he was there, we raised a great deal of money and i was able to use that to endow the university in jerusalem with what i told him about. was something he loved the
theory and it drives to this day it is called peace through the performing arts is a theater group for israeli-arab and as palestinian actors writers and directors work together in peace to create original works of art. [applause] and that doesn't happen without him. i have so many funny and unusual moments with him i sat next to him at howard cosell's funeral a somber day to be sure closed casket was on the stage we're sitting next to each other and he quietly whispered to me little brother, you think he is wearing his hair peas? -- peace. [laughter] >> i said i don't think so
then how will god recognize them? [laughter] so i said champ, once he opens his mouth god will space started laughing it was muffled the first but then they cannot container salsa and here we were at the funeral laughing like to little kids that something dirty and church. we're laughing and laughing and then he says he was a good man one time he asked me if i would like to run with him and do some roadwork he said a run at a country club and a run on the golf course early in the morning we will have a great time i said champ i cannot run their it has a reputation for being restricted. they don't have any jewish members he was incensed he said i am a black muslim and
they let me run their little brother i will never run there again and he didn't. [applause] my favorite memory was 1979 he just retired there is a retirement party for him and 20,000 of his closest friends in a los angeles. [laughter] i performed a piece that i had created imitation had grown into a live story called 15 rounds between 80 and 36 ready for their rematch i posted on the internet last week something that nobody had ever seen before doing his life for him all those years ago in 197,920,000 people were there but i was doing it only for him. it is one of my favorite performances i ever have done in my life i didn't
even know where i was at the end of the performance suddenly i of backstage with another heavyweight champion, richard pryor he is holding on to be crying and then i see muhammad coming he alleges mr. pryor aside and whispered in my year with a big bear hug little brother, you made my life better than it was. [laughter] but did he make all of our lives a little better than they were? [applause] that, my friends is my history with a man i labored to come up with the way to describe the legend he was a tremendous pool of lightning created by mother nature the fantastic combination of power and beauty we have seen the photographs of lightning bolts at the
moment of impact ferocious and magnificent and at the moment of impact that lights up everything around him you can see everything clearly and muhammad ali struck as in the middle of the darkest night in the most threatening storm his power toppled and his light shined on america and we could see clearly injustice and inequality pride and self realization courage and laughter of joy and religious freedom for all. he forced us to take a look tattersalls this man whose robust and ingress and challenge us openly became a silent messenger of peace matatus life is best when you build bridges between people, not walls. [cheers and applause]
my friends all the ones in a thousand years do we get to hear a mozart or see a picasso or read shakespeare but muhammad was one of them but in his party was still a kid who ran with a crippled and smile that the foolishness of it all he is gone but he will never die he was my big brother. [applause] thank you.
>> ladies and gentlemen, bryant gumbel. >> the great maya angelou holds herself no stranger to fame wrote the old and the leap people will forget what you said and they will forget what you did, but no one will ever forget how you made them feel. that applies to muhammad ali the march of time may one day diminish his posts and his poetry maybe even the butterflies and the bees may
be one day all the memories from the rumble in the jungle but i doubt any of us will forget how muhammad ali made us feel. i am not talking about how proud he made to feel with his exploits were house special he made you feel when you were privileged enough to be in his company. i'm talking about our hearts and our souls and our conscience and made our fight this fight for decades. people like me that were semi gifted and black will never forget with the pride
to be black and gold and brash and because we were so unapologetic in the eyes of many we were too arrogant but yet we raffled to be like can by stretching societies boundaries as we did he gave as levels of strength and courage that we did not even know we had but his impact was not limited to those of a certain race or certain religion or race certain mindset. the greatness of this man for the ages was that he was in fact, a man for all ages. has any man have ever had a
greater arc to his life? what does that say of a man, any man that he can go from being viewed as one of his country's most polarizing figures to arguably the most beloved? [applause] and sent it to do so without changing his major or for a second compromising his principles there were great causes and national movements and divisions that afforded him unusual opportunities to symbolize our struggles but harry truman had a right when he said men make history and not the other way around. whereas was split
consequence is no coincidence befitting his stature he never shied away from a fight he fought not just the biggest and baddest inside the ropes but outside went toe to toe with critics with societal norms the architects of a vial and immoral war the u.s. government he even fought to his detriment the limitations of father time fighting is what he did strictly speaking but he broadened the definition by sharing the struggles with us and by viewing our struggles as his. and sella was at various
times the accepted and led the dow battles on behalf of his race in support of his generation and in defense of his religious beliefs, and ultimately in spite of his disease. happen to have been overseas working in norway this past week when my buddy called to tell me the champ was taken to hospital but this time it was serious. by the way i called lonnie who was, as always the pillar of strength. we discussed the medical details and the ugly realities of mortality, she
said the world still needs him. and indeed it does. the world needs a champion who always work to bridge the economic and social divide the world needs a champion to symbolize the best of islam and offset the hatred of fear. the world needs a champion who believed in the fairness for all. 18 people because of their color was wrong and it doesn't matter which color that you hate it is just wrong. [applause] yes we do need muhammad ali now we need this drink and
the hope and the compassion and the conviction that he always demonstrated. but this time our beloved champion is down. and for one final knockout not this time. not ever again. but i will close with a quick personal story. 50 years ago muhammad ali defeated georgia in toronto canada. the very next day, he showed up in my neighborhood on the south side of chicago and as he got out of the car i happen to be next door shooting hoops and a friend's backyard of course, i quickly rand and
for the first time in my life i shook the champs hands. i was 17 i was awestruck and i thought he was the greatest. now half a century and a lifetime of experience is later, i am still of struck. and i am convinced more than ever that muhammad ali is the greatest. [applause] to be standing here by virtue of his hand lonnie request is mind-numbing. the honor they he has done me today as he goes to his
and by making you last in a long long line i guarantee you a standing ovation. [laughter] i am trying to think of what has been left unsaid. lonnie i thank you and the members of the family for telling me he gave me a chance to come here. i thank you for what you did to make the second half of his life greater than the first. [applause] and for the muhammad ali center and what it has come to represent to so many
people. here's what i'd like to say as i get older and older trying to figure out what makes people tick how they turn out the way they are, how do some people refuse to become victims? we have all seen the beautiful pictures when muhammad ali was a boy and people were driving by i think he decided i hope somebody here will decide very young to write his own life story. [applause]
i think he decided before he could have worked all-out and before fate and the time could work their will on him, he decided he would not ever be disempowered he decided not his race nor the expectations of others that they would strip from him the power to write his own story and decided to use his stunning gaffes with his strength and speed in the hour ring to manage the public with his mind and heart at a fairly young age
from what he believed and how to live with those consequences of what he believed a lot of people may get to the steps one and two but still cannot quite manage a living with the consequences of what he believes. the longest time a lot of wonderful things have been said but i remember thinking when i was the kid he is so smart and he never got credit for being as smart as he was. [applause] and i don't think he ever got the credit until later to be as wise as he was. in the end, besides being a lot of fun to be around i
always think of muhammad as a truly free man of faith. [applause] and being a man of faith to realize he would never be in full control of his life and then parkinsons would come along and then to be free he realized life was still choices it was the choice is that he made that bring us here in his death with honor and love. [applause] the only other thing i would like to say that i could really think about is the first part of his life was
dominated by a the triumph of his truly unique gifts we should never forget them or stop looking at the movies we should thank will smith for making his movie. [applause] but the second part of his life was more important because he refused to be imprisoned by a disease that can him stronger routes longer then nelson mandela. and in the second half of his life with the guests that we all have every single one of us it is just that he found a way to
release them in ways large and small. and i asked muhammad -- lonnie she remembers in michigan there was an economic club there and it is a ritual when the president leaves office you have to get reactivated nobody plays a song when you walk in the room anymore. [laughter] it is called the economic club i think. [laughter] they act like you still deserve to be listened to so they were with me at this dinner and he knew somehow i was a little off my feet that night trying to imagine this new life and he told me
a really bad joke. [laughter] and he told this so well and laughed so hard that i totally got over it and had a great time. [laughter] he had that field -- the feel that there is no textbook for that to pick up the body language. then lonnie and muhammad got me to cover your for the center of was trying to be the older statesman thinking i have to elevate him so in very high tone language he sneaks up behind me and put his fingers up. [laughter] finally after all the years we were friends, my enduring